I'm not ready to move on


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Along with some big updates on my small business, LearnGit.io, this month I share the story of why I moved to NYC, and the bumpy ending to my 7-year-long career at Amazon. Thanks for reading!

Change

In the past 6 years, change has been a reliable companion. To recap, I moved to NYC, quit my job of 7 years at Amazon, got married, started a small business, and (just this month) got kicked out of my apartment...

But before I talk about that, let's rewind back to 2018. We find a restless early-career software engineer ready for a change.

After 3 years in the Pacific Northwest working at Amazon, I had both outgrown Seattle and become tired of the predictability of software engineering. Though the breadth of programming problems was vast, the method of solving these problems (especially within large software companies) felt repetitive. I needed a change.

Gravitating towards leadership

From a young age, I've felt at home in leadership roles. It seemed natural that my next step at Amazon would be people management. In career transitions, we build upon our existing strengths and surround ourselves with people who compliment our weaknesses. So after meeting an inspiring mentor-manager in 2018, I moved from Seattle to NYC and transitioned to management.

Around that same time, I moved into a 430 sqft 1bd Brooklyn apartment with my long-distance girlfriend (now wife), and started the process of weaving together our disparate lives.

Why I left Amazon

For the next few years, I built a a shared life with my wife and advanced my career as a people manager side by side, literally and figuratively. These years overlapped with COVID-19. Starting in 2020, these scenes played out in our small apartment-turned-remote work space: two rooms and kitchen.

Everything happened in our apartment. The world shut down, I took calls, drafted emails and worked days, nights and holidays. I was stressed, but had no way to burn it off.

By 2022, 4 years after moving to NYC, my management career reached a boiling point. My 1bd Brooklyn apartment witnessed the pressure cooker. My mentor-manager left. I felt the crushing stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. Amazon's culture was struggling to adapt to the changes brought on by the pandemic. My people needed me, but the company's support system for managers was rapidly eroding under my feet. Without access to a pressure relief valve, my time as a manager at Amazon was limited.

Adding to the stress was planning my wedding for August 2022. So after 7 years, I made the necessary decision to leave Amazon, get married, and start recovering from the intense burnout of the past few years.

The apartment that witnessed it all

It's now 2024 and though a lot has changed, one thing has remained constant โ€” my 1bd Brooklyn apartment. Since 2019, this quaint 430 sqft space has seen it all: career changes, life events and a once-in-a-century (๐Ÿคž) pandemic. It's the longest I've ever lived in one place since leaving my childhood home over 13 years ago. So it's hard to say goodbye.

Earlier this spring, my landlord declined to renew our lease, saying they needed to move a family member into the unit. It's a bittersweet feeling. One of my life philosophies is that growth happens with change, but in a period littered with intense changes, having a comforting, familiar environment provides a welcomed respite. For me, that was this apartment. No matter what was happening at work or outside, I had my floor-to-ceiling windows, the roof deck, the living room desk, my kitchen counter, my yellow couch. Things I could count on.

As I write this newsletter, buffered on either side by haphazardly stacked moving boxes, it all feels uncertain, fragile, and a bit overwhelming.

We moved into our new place this week. It's an adjustment. There's not as much natural light. The bedroom is a little stuffy. But I just set up my yellow couch. This new space is big enough that I get my own home office, meaning no more living-room desk. It's not the home I had, but maybe this chapter can be something, too.

What's next?

If you're a longtime reader of this newsletter, you know that since leaving my career at Amazon, I started an online learning platform called LearnGit.io. In these monthly newsletters I've traced LearnGit from inception, to a promising business with still many areas for improvement. I expect the next 2 months will see a pivot in where I'm focusing my time, and I'll talk more about that in next month's newsletter.

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Thanks again for reading. If you want to get in touch, simply hit reply. This newsletter was one of my more vulnerable, so if any of this resonated with you, let me know.

I hope you have a good June!

Cheers,

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LearnGit.io Product Updates

New content!

I expected to finish the Collaboration learning track by adding only 3 more lessons; however, it became clear that wasn't enough. I ended up doubling the amount of new lessons to include code review, pull requests, and open source collaboration.

This was a big job, but I'm proud of how this learning track turned out. See the full lesson guide below:

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Going live on Product Hunt

As an education platform, LearnGit.io isn't flashy like all the AI-driven SAAS apps that typically get featured on Product Hunt; however, I figured it would be a good exercise to get the word out. You can follow my launch page for updates.

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Numbers (April 2024)

16 New Signups

63 Total Customers

$1087 Revenue

-$789 Expenses

Numbers (May 2024)

20 New Signups

83 Total Customers

$1339 Revenue

-$817 Expenses

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I recognize that not everyone who reads this newsletter is interested in learning Git; however, if you are, check out LearnGit's features and curriculum below. I'm proud of how this product has grown over the past year, and I'm excited for more folks to try it out. Thanks!

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Features:

  • Instant search with code snippets
  • Comprehensive, interactive documentation
  • Dark mode
  • Lifetime access
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • โ€‹More FAQsโ€‹

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Curriculum:

  • Fundamentals of Git (15 lessons)
  • Collaboration (13 lessons)
  • Rebase (Releasing June/July 2024)
  • Grab Bag (Releasing Aug/Sept 2024)
  • ...your suggestions!

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The Modern Coder

My name is Jack Lot Raghav, I'm a tech industry professional (ex Amazon) & growing YouTuber (28k @themoderncoder) building an online business (LearnGit.io). In this newsletter, I'll be sharing monthly technical & business insights as I strive for self-employment.

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